We live in the age of DIY (Do It Yourself). The wide availability of information from the Internet and the rise of shops and stores geared toward supplying brave DIYers has led to a transformation in how we approach problems. That said, there are still many areas of life and business where things are complicated or important enough that they are best left to a professional website developer.

Custom website development is one of those areas that falls down the middle of these two extremes. The easy access to powerful website development tools has made building your own website easier than ever. However, there are still many areas of website design where a professional website developer will be able to offer a final product that is of far higher quality than any amateur could ever hope to achieve.

The importance of the website experience in some businesses makes it critical that their websites are of the high possible quality, while other businesses can get along just fine with a more generic website.

Here is a brief guide to deciding whether you need a professional website developer or if you will be fine doing it on your own.

The Power of Modern Website Builders

What was once a practice full of strange technical words and computer languages has become accessible to the average person thanks to modern website builders. There are a number of great website builders out there that can guide you from start to finish with hundreds of options and templates for every decision. There is no coding, domain registration or any other technical tasks. Once you like what you see, you simply hit “publish”, and you have your own brand new website.

Drag and Drop

The simplicity of modern website builders comes from their use of drag and drop design. With a few clicks of the mouse, you can pull together the different elements of each page from a menu of available options.

Easy to Use Interface

Adding details or editing content is equally simple. Everything from content and images to colors and fonts is clearly explained with simple-to-follow instructions. You can get the exact look and feel that you want without any coding or reading through complex technical manuals.

Customer Support

All the top website builders have high quality customer support services available to help their clients with any problems they might be having.

When You Should Hire a Professional Website Developer

While it is easy enough to knock out a nice-looking website using your website builder, there are some serious problems that can arise if you require a high degree of functionality from your website.

Transferring Files and Upgrading

Most website builders are intended for relatively simple uses. They are not intended to be migrated to new sites or deal with high traffic issues that come with a successful business and busy website. If you do decide to migrate or upgrade, you will likely lose all your existing forums, blog posts and shopping systems. You will essentially be starting from scratch all over again.

A website developer, on the other hand, will create a site that has all these features organized in a way that is easy to transfer or upgrade as your business and traffic grow. A professional website developer will ensure that your website has exactly what your business needs when it needs it, from fancy navigation tools to robust image galleries.

Website Builders Can Cost More in the End

The usual price for using the services of a website builder is $120 per year, which includes hosting and your domain name. However, if you want to start upgrading your website from the generic template, you will start paying anywhere from $50 to $100 for each additional third party feature. Once you start to consider the lifetime of a website, say 5 years, the final price tag starts to rise pretty fast.

A website developer, on the other hand, may have a larger one-time ticket price, say $3,000, but you get whatever you want for this single payment. However, it is when it comes to migrating or upgrading your website that the real long-term cost savings start to emerge. To migrate or transfer everything from your existing website builder could cost as much, or even more, as having a whole new site built, which you could have done in the first place. A professionally designed website can be maintained at a cutting-edge level in terms of technology and business practices for a relatively lower cost, while a website builder will always be behind the times and offer lower quality features for a higher price.

Which Should You Choose?

Website builders are ideal for people who have simple needs and do not foresee that level of need changing in the next 5 years or so. A generic website will take a few hours to design and cost around $100 per year to maintain. However, if you intend to develop a serious eCommerce business or high-traffic advertising site, then you will absolutely require advanced features just to compete. Even if you intend on starting off small, relying on a website builder will quickly become a hindrance to the steady growth of your business. Hiring a professional website developer from the start will save you time, effort, money and frustration in the long run.

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